How humanities scholars and social scientists can make a difference for public knowledge

“I see my contributions to Wikipedia as a form of academic activism,” says Dr. Jenn Brandt about her recent experience in our professional development course. “At a time when the academy, institutions, and the very nature of ‘fact’ are being challenged more than ever, knowledge, in itself, may not be enough. Rather, it’s what we do with our knowledge, the ways in which we continue to seek it out while encouraging others to do the same, that has the potential for transformative action. And if we can have fun and learn some interesting facts along the way, all the better!”

Two new courses began last month that engage a diverse range of scholars in Wikipedia editing. These scholars are working together across their disciplines of expertise to contribute well-researched content to a range of topics on Wikipedia. We’ve partnered with the following academic associations to connect their members with this professional development opportunity: the American Anthropological Association, American Sociological Association, Linguistic Society of America, Midwest Political Science Association, National Communication Association, and National Women’s Studies Association.

American Anthropological Association

Oscar Escudero is an Anthropology Instructor at the College of Southern Nevada.

Alex Nelson is a PhD candidate in anthropology at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He has conducted ethnographic research on changing ideologies and experiences of love and marriage in South Korea. He is also a founding member of the Erotic Entrepreneurs Project, an interdisciplinary research program documenting the entrepreneurial business strategies of independent erotic escorts who advertise via the internet in the United States. He is interested in improving the quality of Wikipedia articles pertaining to his primary research topics, particularly pages on sex trafficking.

American Sociological Association

José Muñoz is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology at California State University, San Bernardino. He is interested in improving the quality of articles related to community based research, Latino and immigrant politics, health disparities, and diversity efforts in organizations.

Linguistic Society of America

Nancy Henaku is a doctoral candidate on the Rhetoric, Theory and Culture (RTC) program at Michigan Technological University. She would like to contribute to linguistic, rhetoric and gender related topics with particular attention to African and transnational contexts.

Midwest Political Science Association

Roberto Bonilla, Whittier College

Tyler Yates is a Graduate Student in the Department of Political Science at the University of North Texas.

National Communication Association

Amy Jo Ellefson is a graduate student in Communication Studies at the University of Southern Mississippi where her primary research and writing interests involve family, gender, and conflict communication. Her Wikipedia contributions will focus on feminist theories and theorists.

Amber Ferris is an Associate Professor of Communication at the University of Akron Wayne College. Her primary research area is media effects with a focus in social media. She plans to contribute her expertise in these areas to Wikipedia.

Jenny Hanson is an Assistant Professor of Communication Studies, Film, and New Media at Augsburg University.

Jessica Wendorf Muhamad is an Assistant Professor of Communication in the School of Communication at Florida State University.

Aditi Paul is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication Studies at Pace University.

Dann Pierce is an Associate Professor of Communication Studies at the University of Portland.

Jonathan Bowman is Professor of Communication Studies at the University of San Diego who studies friendship and masculinity. As a Fellow, he would like to improve articles related to interpersonal communication processes and to the experience of personal relationships. He also plans to increase the number of biography entries for important researchers in the discipline of Communication Studies, particularly addressing the under-representation of female scholars with Wikipedia articles.

Margaret D’Silva is Professor of Communication and Director at the Institute for Intercultural Communication at the University of Louisville. As a public intellectual, she appreciates this opportunity to translate academic knowledge on mediated intercultural communication for everyone’s use. She is also excited about learning what is happening behind the scenes of Wikipedia.

Kathie Fleck is an Assistant Professor at Ohio Northern University. She specializes in public relations, political communication, and leadership. She is interested in improving the quality of articles about women in politics and leadership for the public.

Cameron W. Piercy is an Assistant Professor of relationships and digital media in Communication Studies at the University of Kansas. He hopes to contribute to articles on computer-mediated communication and organizational theory. Wikipedia is a site of interest for his research on sociotechnical networks (i.e., interaction among humans, databases, and bots). He hopes to introduce future classes to the dynamic community of Wikipedians.

Wendy Pringle is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Communication at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and currently Graduate Research Trainee at McGill University. Her research centers on interpretive and critical investigations into the connections between media, health, and society, specifically in examining Canada’s legalization of medical assistance in dying. She will improve articles relating to health communication and make improvements to the Communication Studies article.

Andrea Quenette is an Assistant Professor at Indiana University East in the Department of Communication Studies. Her research and teaching interests are focused on the effects of various features of political news content on the public. She is interested in supporting Wikipedia content that pulls from political communication literature to improve the political news media literacy of the public and facilitate informed news consumption and political engagement.

Riley Richards is a Graduate Teaching Assistant in the Department of Communication at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Nick J. Sciullo is an Assistant Professor of Communications at Texas A&M University, Kinsgville. He is interested in working on articles related to his research interests in cultural studies, rhetoric, black radicalism, Marxism, and social movements.

National Women’s Studies Association

Elizabeth Stigler is the Thesis and Upper Division Advisor for the Roger Hadfield Ogden Honors College at Louisiana State University. She is looking forward to applying her training as an intersectional feminist to amplify the visibility of topics related to LGBTQ+ studies and culture, food studies, American popular culture studies, and Eastern European ethnic knowledge and history.

LK Mae researches identity in community, particularly the ways in which digital and material rhetorics create ways to develop community and create connection across space and time. They plan to use their access to academe to add more information to Wikipedia on Two-Spirit and QTPOC folks.


Darold Cuba a graduate student in Oral History and a Research Assistant in the CGUI Engineering Lab at Columbia University, whose thesis is #MappingFreedom—interactively documenting the “freedom colonies” which formed along the colonial pathways as the initial “resistance” to Western Colonialism, creating the original “safe spaces”. To these ends his interest is in the ways that Wikimedia tools and platforms can work within university settings to improve content related to oral history, freedmen settlements, and the cultures that grew up within and around them. He plans to develop and improve content related to these and other under-represented communities and their leaders on Wikipedia.

Apply to be a part of our latest course here: To explore how else you can get involved, reach out to


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